Help me create a successful marketing campaign!
May 11, 2008 3:24 PM   Subscribe

I think I'm in a bit over my head in a new job. Any good resources for learning to plan/execute successful marketing initiatives?

I'm doing lead-gen for a company and will be in charge of all aspects of the marketing from email blasts, and direct mail to PPC and trade shows. I do have experience in developing strategies for these things but I don't have much experience with learning how to go about getting a B2B direct mail/email list, how to handle trade shows, etc. I also don't have any formal training in managing large marketing budgets and planning the schedules.

You may be wondering how I got this job/why I am qualified. Well, I have been in advertising for several years, and know quite a bit about the web and PPC from my own projects. I also know about affiliate marketing, etc. which I plan on utilizing. If you're wondering why I took this job...well, I needed the money as I've been out of work for a couple months, it pays well and will get me more experience with some things I want to learn more about (affiliate marketing/PPC in particular) for my own side projects.

I'm just looking for some good resources that give details around planning, preferably w/ case studies/examples. I don't need an "intro to marketing" so to speak but more like a primer on specific areas of it that I haven't had as much hands on experience with (I've dealt with most forms at one point or another, usually second hand though from the agency side). More like a step by step, not general tips for a successful campaign.

I'm picking up the reigns of existing work which will be helpful but I will also be expected to test a lot of new areas. The product sells for 20k-200k+ so obviously it will be some time before I can see the fruits of my labor as the sales funnel is quite involved/long.

Happy to answer questions around specifics.
posted by Elminster24 to Work & Money (3 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Lead generation is always a difficult business, but depending on your budget, you need to work on a network promotional and lead referral plan. This means:

1. You work out a plan to touch base with your existing customers. You're going to introduce yourself and assess their needs. More importantly, you're going to compile a list of their suppliers.

2. Give your existing customers a paid or project-means incentive for referring their suppliers to your services.

If they take the bait, create a memorandum of understanding making the deal firm, establishing a base rate for referrals and a bonus for the final contract rate of new business. Their promotion of your business creates monetary opportunity for them. This means more than passing you business cards, you are creating a customer who is an evangelist for your business.

Keep the pipeline going. This will work, but it means you'll have to A) remain on friendly terms with everyone; and B) be strident in showing a portfolio of sales generation for companies you've taken on board.
posted by parmanparman at 5:48 PM on May 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Direct Marketing Association is a wealth of information, like you are seeking. The Trade Show Exhibitors Association may have help for you. The American Marketing Association can get you in contact with other marketers in your area, through their local chapter meetings and events. And you should definitely be in touch with any trade associations for the product or industry to which your firm belongs - these associations and publications that serve specific industries, are your best source (and generally lowest cost per impression or action) for direct mail lists.

If you don't have trade show management experience yourself, get professional assistance for at least the first couple of events. Your exhibit contractor, if you use one, can probably suggest a free lancer. Hint: For any shows you are thinking of attending, get an Exhibitors Manual as soon as possible, and read every word of it - you'd be surprised how many exhibitors kill their shows by failing to comply with the Exhibitor Manual for the show. I've seen major product presentations eviscerated the night before a show opened, because of booth design problems. Doing trade shows badly is expensive, and can be incredibly detrimental to your business, especially in new markets or at events abroad, some times for far longer than you think. People remember things about trade shows, from one year to the next, that will surprise you. If you have a lot of time, attending shows without exhibiting, or at least without the full pressure of running the show, may be your best first attendance option. For expensive products, trade shows are such an incredible opportunity, that they might be worth 50 to 75% of your marketing budget, if you can find the right shows and approach.

Finally, if your company doesn't have a formal marketing plan, make and circulate one as soon as practicable. That is Step One in handling a large marketing budget. If your company already has a marketing plan, digest it thoroughly, and get any revisions you think needed, near the beginning of your tenure. Executing a bad marketing plan, because it was handed to you, is a bad, bad career move. And the last marketing plan an outgoing marketing manager does for a company they are leaving, is not usually their best work.
posted by paulsc at 3:31 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Paulsc: Great links, thanks for the resources and the trade show tips.

Parmanparman: Good suggestion but due to the nature of the software, it is unlikely that any of the existing clients suppliers/vendors would have a need for it. Although now that I think of it their vendors may potentially have a need for another software product the company makes. I can definitely bring up that suggestion.
posted by Elminster24 at 7:13 AM on May 12, 2008

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